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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 20, 2015

Voseo in Montevideo’s Advertising: Reflecting Linguistic Norms

Joseph R. Weyers


This study examines the role of the voseo, tuteo, and ustedeo in written advertising in Montevideo, Uruguay. Analysis of 133 samples shows a preference for voseo in publicity, although tú and usted are also present. While written voseo - with or without a tonic pronoun - has traditionally been stigmatized in public education (Bertolotti & Coll 2003 and Gabbiani 2000), its predominant role in advertising suggests an increased acceptance of that written form in public venues. The study examines the language of publicity within the framework of politeness strategies, which explains that written publicity uses linguistic forms that lessen social distance and power [-D, -P] for the purpose of persuading consumers to buy. As such, voseo is the preferred form of address in commercial advertising in Montevideo, appearing in 83% of the samples. Voseo also has a strong presence in non-commercial advertising, where it appears in 44% of the examples in this study, irrespective of any stigma attached to its use.

Published Online: 2015-3-20
Published in Print: 2012-9-1

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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